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PRODUCTION the backlog With many assets now more than 25 years old, asset integrity is a daily concern on the UK

Continental Shelf. Is the industry keeping up?

Elaine Maslin reports.

Rope access is used to get to areas hen the North Sea started its At the same time, the number of usually out of reach. Photo by Craig Hannah. ? rst offshore production in companies reporting their backlog KPIs

W 1975, some 40 years ago, it (key performance indicators) has fallen, ciency at less than 20%, with just seven was with a view that the industry would according to the 2015 report, and there out of 29 UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) be fairly short lived and certainly not still is uncertainty around the quality of the operators, with production ef? ciency going well into the 2000s. data supplied, with work now ongoing over 80%, and it’s the majors who are

Yet, despite the current market chal- to ? nd ways to validate its accuracy. most likely to be at the bottom of the lenges facing the industry, many facili- table. Over the same period, production

Falling ef? ciency ties are still running long after their has fallen, from more than 3.4 MMboe/d

Over a similar period, production ef- original cessation of production date to just under 1.5 MMboe/d in 2013.

So are these data linked? ? ciency, an indication of how well assets and they will be expected to continue “Safety critical maintenance backlog perform compared to how well they could for years to come. As a result, asset in- has increased from just above 700 man perform, has been falling, from just above tegrity has been and remains a big topic. hours per installation to more than 4000, 80%, in 2004, to about 65%, in 2014, ac-

But, has the industry got a grip on it?

as at Q3-4 2014, with the increase having cording to latest ? gures, presented at the

According to ? gures from Oil & Gas started from 2010, and the greatest rises

Energy Institute’s Asset Integrity Confer-

UK, the safety critical maintenance in 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, unplanned ence in Aberdeen in late 2015. According backlog has been creeping up year-on- losses account for the greatest increase to Gunther Newcombe, who presented the year since 2010, amid US$100/bbl oil in the lost production ef? ciency, with ? gures, unplanned production losses – as prices. Its Health & Safety Report 2015 planned shutdown time also increasing,” opposed to planned, export, and reser- puts the safety critical back log at an

Newcombe says.

voir losses or well work – accounted for average 8900 man-hours per installa- about half of the decrease in production tion for 2014, divided into 2200 man- Russell Breen, operations manager, ef? ciency from 2009-2014.

hours planned maintenance backlog per energy division, Health and Safety Exec- installation (2009: 500 man-hours per Newcombe is director of exploration utive (HSE), told the event: “The safety installation), 2700 hours of corrective and production at the new indepen- critical backlog has steadily increased maintenance backlog (2009: 750) and dent regular in the UK, the Oil and from 2010… [from] well before oil price nearly 4000 hours of deferred mainte- Gas Authority (OGA). He says there are dropped. If anything, the oil price is go- nance backlog (2009: 700). operators currently with production ef? - ing to make it worse.”

January 2016 | OE 42 042_OE0116_ProdOps1_Asset Integ.indd 42 12/24/15 9:04 AM

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